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"Welcome Back, Migrating Birds!" Project



Swallows and swifts have a special relationship with Chinese people, living intimately alongside human communities for centuries. In some regions, people even consider them to be part of the family and nesting in their homes bring luck and prosperity to their household. Poems, songs and children's nursery rhymes have been composed in their honor and are still popular today.


However, urbanization and changes in people's lifestyle in China have seriously impacted these migratory birds. Once known as "Yanjing" (燕京) or the "City of Swallows", Beijing has seen a significant decline in the number of swallows and swifts in the past few decades. In the summer of 2000, Gao Wu, a biology professor at Capital Normal University, repeated the investigation conducted by Zheng Guangmei, an ornithologists, in 1965: He cycle along the river outside of the Forbidden City. The number of apodidae or swifts he counted was only 80, a significant decrease from the 400 counted in 1965.


In addition to empirical evidence, our public survey also showed that 74.48% of our interviewees believed that "there are less swallows and swifts today compared to when they were young". Changes in architectural structures, disappearance of green spaces and wetlands, anti-bird nets covering historical sites, use of pesticides and human factors all contribute to the decrease in number of swallows and swifts.


The "Welcome Back, Migrating Birds!" project was launched by Roots & Shoots Beijing Office in 2017. The program aims to raise public awareness on the plight of swallows and swifts in China and encourages individuals to take action in their communities to improve their environment and protect their local wildlife.



How to Join Us

Do you see any swallows or swifts living near you? Do you want to do something for them?


If you are a student or teacher:

Please click here and apply to start a R&S group in your school or community. Our staff member will contact you and offer guidance on the migratory bird protecting activities.


If you are a resident who is concerned about swallows and swifts:

Please take pictures of these migratory birds or their nests, mark the time and place of the photo and tell us how you encountered them on our Weibo, so that more people can learn about swallows and swifts.


If you want to participate in more activities:

Click here and apply to be an R&S volunteer and take actions to protect wildlife.

You can also start your own fundraising and donations campaign towards swallows and swifts protection! Please email us for more details.



Dr. Jane Goodall, world famous primatologist, ethologist, anthropologist and UN Messenger of Peace endorsing the "Welcome Back, Migrating Birds!" project.




Contact Us

Website: www.jgichina.org/en

"Welcome Back, Migrating Birds!" project e-mail: yanzi@genyuya.org.cn

Tel: 010-67782757


Scan for more information in our Wechat newsletter (Chinese only)


Roots & Shoots Beijing Office, Room 1309, Beijing City International School, No.77 Baiziwan Nan Er Rd, Chaoyang District,  Beijing, China 100022